01/10/07 — Actors will lend talents to efforts for Paramount

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Actors will lend talents to efforts for Paramount

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on January 10, 2007 1:49 PM

David Weil is not the only Goldsboro resident who wants to see a new Paramount Theater -- just ask Margaret Baddour and Geoff Hulse.

The pair will host the first of several fundraisers for the new theater next month, with proceeds going to Weil to offset some of the costs associated with the project's $5 million price tag.

The slapstick play, "The Mystery of Irma Vep," will be sponsored by the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. and the Arts Council of Wayne County, groups that both hope to see Weil's plan come to fruition in the near future.

Hulse isn't worried about how much money the production will raise. In fact, the only thing that has been on his mind lately is getting through rehearsals, he said.

"We laugh so hard at the slapstick that we have trouble keeping going," he said of practicing for the show.

Hulse and Mrs. Baddour are both well-known throughout the county for their involvement in the performing arts. Hulse played Boolie in "Driving Miss Daisy" and Atticus Finch in "To Kill A Mockingbird," both directed by Mrs. Baddour, who also has directed "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" and several other plays at Wayne Community College.

This particular play will feature chaotic costume changes, the use of several voices and accents and will require that both Hulse and his partner cross genders in a moment's notice.

"The (play) is a twisted version of 'Rebecca,'" Mrs. Baddour said. "It involves werewolves, vampires, servants, a lord and a lady."

All the characters will be played by one of the two actors, she added -- hence the need for costume, voice and gender transformations.

Tickets for the performances, coined "High Tea and Low Humor" by the cast, will go on sale at the Arts Council within the next few days. Seats will run $25.

Project leaders and city officials said last week they expect the Paramount to be completed sometime in mid-October, with a formal dedication and the first performance there to take place in early November.

Weil said he is pleased that members of the community are looking for ways to help lower the cost of the theater -- especially when they are doing it with a performance as funny as this one will be.

"I have seen this show five times in different places," he said. "It's absolutely hilarious."